Waist training is the new workout craze sweeping the celebrity circuit, and it’s now trickled back to the UK. But does it work, and more importantly, is it dangerous?
Kim Kardashian swears by her waist trainer, and sisters Khloe and Kourtney have both been seen working their waist training corsets on Instagram, too. Even Jessica Alba has admitted it’s how she got her post-baby body back.
It’s the fad that promises to give you that perfect hourglass shape by literally squashing your waist into shape using a special ‘corset’. And the waist training before and after shots do make it look like they make a difference…
But what do these waist training corsets actually do to your body? And what are the risks? Well, we tracked down personal trainer Peter Lemon, an expert on waist training corsets, to discuss the potentially harmful side effects. And he has some words of warning…
‘Waist training is a new weight loss fad popularised by Kim and other celebrities. But there is no evidence that waist training reduces fat, and that there are potential dangers to squashing your middle’, Peter says.
‘Like most weight loss fads, it promises easy weight loss without the hard work of dieting or exercising, through the use of a ‘corset’ that literally squashes your waist into shape. If you wear a corset, as the Victorians well knew, you will look slimmer.’
But, Peter explains, this is only a temporary solution. The problem is that waist training only makes you look slimmer while you are wearing the corset. Once you take it off, your body will soon revert back to its normal shape.’
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‘This is because wearing a corset will have no effect on the amount of body fat that you have. This means that in order to get long-term results from waist training, you would need to wear the corset all the time.’
A full-time corset? Erm, no thanks. We’re not even sure Kimmy K would be up for that one. So is all of this waist-training actually harmful to our bodies? Well, in a nutshell, yes.
‘This has some serious health risks due to compression, such as skin infections, pulmonary problems, kidney issues and lung issues. Not to mention the fact that it can be extremely painful’, Peter continues.
‘Even the manufacturers of the corsets advise that people wear them for a short time only, due to the risks involved.’
All in all, Peter recommends that you steer well clear of the waist-cinching trend.
‘It should be no surprise to learn that the latest celebrity endorsed weight loss treatment will have no effect on your body fat and may even be dangerous. There is no secret to losing weight: eating properly and exercising frequently are proven to be the most effective techniques.’
‘If you want to wear a corset to make you look slimmer for one evening, then it probably won’t do you any long term harm. However, you should understand that it isn’t good for your health and it isn’t something to make a habit of.’
We’re sorry Kim and Khloe, but we’re with the experts on this one. LOOK’s advice? Leave the waist-training to the Kardashians, and get that hourglass by eating healthily and working those abs instead.